THE HAWTHORNE’S FREE SCHOOL

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

 The school will

Arrange to take all reasonable measures to ensure the risks of harm to children are minimised

and

Arrange to take all appropriate actions to address concerns about the welfare of the child, or children, working to agreed local policies and procedures in full partnership with other local services.

(page 5 Safeguarding Children in Education DfES 2004)

 In accordance with 31.4 Safeguarding Children DfES 2004, the school has a senior member of the schools leadership team to take lead responsibility for dealing with child protection issues, providing advice and support to other staff, liaising with other staff, and working with other agencies, to be known as the (Senior Designated Person).  All staff have been made aware of this role:

The Senior Designated Person for this agency is Mr J Pilkington (in his absence the designated person will be Miss R Prout).

“Section 175 Education Act 2002 will place schools and local education authorities under a legal duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of pupils” Children’s Legal Centre February 2003

Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children.  School and college staff are particularly important as they are in a position to identify concerns early and provide help for children, to prevent concerns from escalating.  Schools and colleges and their staff form part of the wider safeguarding system for children.  The system is described in statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 (DfE guidance) Schools and colleges should work with social care, the police, health services and other services to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

Reference “Keeping children safe in education” Statutory guidance for school and colleges 2014

 All children deserve the opportunity to achieve their full potential. The five outcomes that are key to children’s and young people’s wellbeing are;

  •  Stay safe ie pupils are safe and feel safe
  • Be healthy
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic wellbeing

The document below provide the framework for school responsibilities as part of a co-ordinated shared response to the health and well being of children

Working Together To Safeguard Children 1999 & 2006

Framework For The Assessment of Children in Need and their families 2000

What to do if you’re worried A child is Being Abused (2003)

Safeguarding Children in education DFES/0027/2004

The school is aware of the responsibilities, which the school and its staff have with regard to the protection of children from abuse and from inappropriate and inadequate care, and is committed to responding in all cases where there is concern.

Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families

Sefton 2002

“Category 1 – a child or young person is at imminent risk or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of serious neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse  (referral as for section 47 Children Act 1989)

 Category 2 – the child or young person where there is a serious concern about their care, health and development and /or there are serious concerns about family disintegration without the provision of services. (child in need) “

(referral as for section 17 Children Act 1989)

 The Senior DESIGNATED PERSON(S)            

Name:  Mr J. Pilkington

In accordance with Circular 10/95, the school has designated a child protection liaison teacher, to be known as the Senior Designated Person.  All staff have been made aware of this role. Their responsibilities are:

  1. To be responsible for ensuring that effective communication and liaison with social services and other agencies takes place as appropriate in the event of staff having child protection concerns about a pupil/student.
  2. To ensure that staff (including the headteacher, teaching and non-teaching staff) has an understanding of a child in need and child abuse and the main related indicators, and are aware of the school’s responsibilities within the Area Child Protection Committee’s (ACPC) procedures (ACPC is now known as the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB)).
  3. To support and advise staff in their child protection work.
  4. To provide specialist input into the planning of the content and delivery of the personal, social and health education curriculum (including the informal curriculum) with respect to child protection issues.
  5. To maintain his/her own knowledge and awareness of the issues, policy and practice of child protection such as through regular attendance at appropriate training courses.
  6. To refer cases of suspected abuse or allegations to the relevant investigating agencies using procedures outlined by the LA.
  7. Act as a source of support, advice and expertise when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies
  8. Liaise with head teacher to inform him/her of any issues and ongoing investigations and ensure there is always cover for this role.
  9. Identifying signs of abuse and when appropriate to make a referral

10. Have a working knowledge of Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB), conduct of a child protection case conference and be able to attend and contribute when required to do so

11. Ensure each member of staff has access to and understands the school’s child protection policy especially new or part time staff who may work with different educational establishments

12. Ensure all staff have induction training and are able to recognise and report any concerns immediately they arise. Ensure refresher training is undertaken every three years

13. Be able to keep detailed accurate secure written records of referrals and or concerns. Information is on a need to know basis only.

14. Obtain access to resources and attend any relevant or refresher training courses at least very two years

15. Ensure child protection policy is reviewed and updated annually with the governing body. Ensuring the monitoring and evaluation of the policy and relevant action plans have clear and specific outcomes

16. Ensure parents have access to information, which alerts them to the fact that referrals may be made and the role of the establishment in this to avoid conflict later. (leaflets and prospectus)

17. Ensure children’s child protection file is copied and transferred to any new establishment as soon as possible separately from the main file

18. All teaching and non-teaching staff are aware of their responsibilities with regard to the protection of children from abuse and from inappropriate and inadequate care, and are committed to responding in all cases where there is concern.

 

In the event of a member of staff (whether teaching or non-teaching) having a child protection concern about a pupil, he/she will immediately inform the designated person, and record accurately the events giving rise to the concern. The action to be taken subsequently is detailed in the Education Guidance Section of the ACPC Child Protection Procedures, and this guidance will be followed scrupulously.

CHILDREN IN NEED

 Children are defined as being ‘in need’, under the Children Act 1989 section 17, when their vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services (s17 (10) of the Children Act 1989), plus those who are disabled. The critical factors in deciding whether a child is in need are:

  •  What will happen to a child’s health or development      without services being provided, and
  • The likely effect the services will have on the      child’s standard of health and development

WHAT IS ABUSE?

Physical Abuse:

May involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. May also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child (Fabricated induced Illness)

Emotional Abuse:

Persistent emotional maltreatment such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. May involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only as insofar as they meet the needs of another person. May feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on them.

Sexual Abuse:

Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. May involve physical contact including penetrative or non-penetrative acts, involving children looking at, or in the production of sexual online images, watching sexual activities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways

Neglect:

Persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development. May involve failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter, protect from physical and emotional harm or danger, adequate supervision, ensure access to appropriate medical care or unresponsiveness to basic emotional needs

 If a member of staff feel that a concern should be acted upon and it is not referred then they have the right to refer direct to social services. If this is the case inform the DT/HT of the action.

 LISTENING TO CHILDREN

Some staff will have a particular contribution to make in listening to children who have been through the experience of abuse.  It is important that this work is not undertaken at a time when it may impact on any legal processes through which the child may be involved, and that it does not clash with any therapeutic interventions provided by other agencies.  All staff are aware that if they are selected by a pupil to hear a disclosure they NEED TO TAKE ACCOUNT of the guidance given in the Memorandum of Good Practice (Criminal Justice Act 1991)

The following guidance will act as a framework for a staff response

•     Be accessible and receptive, listen carefully and ask open questions to clarify e.g. who, what, when, where, how.

•     Take it seriously (e.g. This is very serious, I’m sad that this has happened to you)

•     Reassure the child they are right to tell (e.g. I’m glad you told me, that was the right thing to do)

•     Reassure the child it was not their fault (e.g. The big person/grown up knew it was very wrong to involve you in adult/this stuff/things)

•     Negotiate getting help – Tell the child you are going to get help for them and their family – prepare them for the fact that you must involve others, they will be interviewed by police and social worker and may need a medical examination to check they are OK.

•     Explain – that you cannot personally protect them – but will support them in telling the right people to make sure it does not happen again.

•     Report – all suspicions or disclosures immediately

•     Make careful records of what was said – immediately using the child’s own words and including questions you asked.  Keep your hand written notes.

 DO NOT

  •  Jump to conclusions or make promises you cannot keep.
  •  Try to get the child to disclose – let the child talk and ask only the questions you need to know to clarify immediate safety.  The child should not be repeatedly interviewed and the police/social services interview will form the basis of evidence needed to protect the child.
  •  Speculate or accuse anybody.
  • Ask any leading questions whatsoever e.g. was it daddy/mummy etc. or any questions requiring a YES/NO answer.

(based on the Memorandum of Good Practice -Criminal Justice Act 1991)

STAFF MUST NOT INVESTIGATE CONCERNS OR      TRY TO FIND EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CONCERNS. STAFF SHOULD ONLY PASS ON      THEIR CONCERNS TO THE DESIGNATED PERSON OR THEIR DEPUTY AND/OR SOCIAL      CARE.

PROFESSIONAL ABUSE

 Teachers who hear an allegation of abuse against another member of staff should report the matter to the headteacher, unless the headteacher is the person against whom the allegation is made’ (CLEA Circular 95/11)

Referral is to the headteacher, unless they are one accused, in that case the deputy head, and then the senior LA officer.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Signs of Physical Abuse

* Unexplained injuries or burns, particularly if they are recurrent

* Improbable excuses given to explain injuries

* Refusal to discuss injuries

* Untreated injuries

* Admission of punishment which appears excessive

* Bald patches

* Withdrawal from physical contact

* Arms and legs covered in hot weather

* Fear of returning home

* Fear of medical help

* Self-destructive tendencies

* Aggression towards others

* Running away

 Signs of Emotional Abuse

* Physical, mental and emotional development lags

* Admission of punishment which appears excessive

* Over-reaction to mistakes

* Continual Self-depreciation

* Sudden speech disorders

* Fear of new situations

* Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations

* Neurotic behaviour (e.g. rocking, hair-twisting, thumb-sucking)

* Self-mutilation

* Fear of parents being contacted

* Extremes of passivity or aggression

* Drug/solvent abuse

* Running away

* Compulsive stealing, scavenging

Sexual

What to watch out for in children:

  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
  • Becoming  unusually secretive
  • Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
  • Regressing to  younger behaviours, e.g. bedwetting
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people
  • Outburst of anger
  • Changes in eating habits
  • New adult words for body parts and no obvious source
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts
  • Self-mutilation (cutting or burning) in adolescents
  • Physical  signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth,  sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy
  • Running away
  • Not wanting  to be alone with a particular child or young person

Neglect

* Constant hunger

* Poor personal hygiene

* Constant tiredness

* Poor state of clothing

* Emaciation

* Frequent lateness or non-attendance at school

* Untreated medical problems

* Destructive tendencies

* Low self-esteem

* Neurotic behaviour

* No social relationships

* Running  away

* Compulsive stealing or scavenging

These lists are not exhaustive, and symptoms in isolation may not indicate abuse.  A cluster or recurrence of symptoms should, however, raise concern that abuse may be a possible concern.

Keep in mind that some of these signs can emerge at other times of stress such as:

  • During a      divorce
  • Death of a      family member or pet
  • Problems at      school or with friends
  • Other      anxiety-inducing or traumatic events

If a member of staff feel that a concern should be acted upon and it is not referred then they have the right to refer direct to the LA officer and social care. If this is the case inform the DT/HT of the action. ACPC procedures should then be followed.

LA contact (HR) – Paul Cunningham Tel.0151 934 3209

Local Authority Designated Officer – Christine Mellor Tel: 0151 934 3234

Adult access to pupils: via any school activities, the use of school premises or promotion of outside school activities, will be assessed for level of risk and regularly monitored. In most circumstances all employed and voluntary staff should have undergone vetting by the by the Criminal Register Bureau.

The school will ensure that all adults and pupils know any relevant procedures or codes of conduct.   

 RECORDS and RECORD KEEPING

All records and witness statements relating to child protection concerns and cases will be kept confidential. Access will only be via the Headteacher and the designated teacher.

The local authority may request the up to date, signed and dated Records of all concerns and incidents.

If the school receives such a request to secure records, the designated person must take possession of the file (Electronic and manual files) and ensure that he/she numbers and initials both sides of each page.  The school should make a complete photocopy of the file so that casework can continue while the local authority’s nominated person holds the original file. Files being transferred between the school and the local authority should be delivered in person in a sealed envelope if possible and signed by both persons with a record of the transfer held in school.

PARENTS

 It is good practice to inform parents of concerns and subsequent referrals to social care unless the child is at risk of significant harm by doing so. Meetings with parents will be held with the designated person and/or head teacher and/or a member of staff. (Two members of staff maximum)

All parents will receive a statement regarding the responsibility of the school in this area. This is included in our prospectus.

Parents should be aware that the school will take any reasonable action to ensure the safety of its pupils/students.  In cases where the school has reason to be concerned that a child may be subject to ill-treatment, neglect or other forms of abuse, staff have no alternative but to follow borough Child Protection Procedures and inform Social Services of their concern.

Parents will not always be fully informed of concerns unless staff are certain that the safety of the child will not be prejudiced by their doing so.

 TRAINING

 The school recognises the importance of regular training for all staff.  Therefore:

  1. The senior designated teacher/Headteacher will attend appropriate training. To include  basic LA initial training, regular up-dates and more frequently ones when changes of procedure require it.
  2. All staff, both teaching and non-teaching, who come into contact with children, will receive training in child protection and updated if there are changes in procedures or significant changes in staffing.
  3. Anyone joining the school staff – full time part time or voluntary – will be fully briefed, concerning their responsibilities within child protection procedures, before beginning their duties.

PROCEDURES HANDBOOK

The LSCB Child Protection Procedures Handbook will be kept in the main office.

The designated teacher will ensure that all staff are aware of this and are familiar with the Education Guidance Section.  Further information can be obtained via the Intranet/Internet address:

http://www.seftonlscb.co.uk (click on professionals and them procedures tabs)

 CHILD PROTECTION CONFERENCES

The school will ensure that all child protection conferences are attended by a member of staff who is properly informed about the immediate concerns as well as about the child and his/her history.  Full reports to conference in accordance with procedures, will be sent to the Social Care in advance where possible, or multiple copies taken to the Conference where time given is limited.

STAFF SUPPORT

The stress on staff involved in any aspect of child protection work is considerable, and the school will ensure that such staff are properly supported.  The Headteacher and senior designated teacher will be responsible for ensuring that support from outside the school is sought where appropriate.

Senior designated person and school support

 

  •  LA officer represented on the ACPC –, Christine Mellor  0151 934 3234 – For concerns about inter-agency co-ordination
  •  Education Welfare Officers- For support regarding assessments of individual cases and training on procedures – Julie Palin,  Tel. 0151 934 3149
  •  Gill Perry Lead Consultant PSHEE and Well Being  Tel. 0151 934 3153 Training and Curriculum
  • Professional Abuse – Paul Cunningham, Tel. 0151 934 3209

 CHILD PROTECTION IN THE CURRICULUM

The planned curriculum will include material and activities, mainly within Personal, Social and Health Education which are designed to help children to be less vulnerable to abuse, where this is possible, without in any way implying that the responsibility for child protection is the child’s. This will include emotional health and well being, sex education, anti-bullying, safety, drug education and all work that develops self- esteem and inter-personal skills.  (see attached units of work pgs 38-40)

COHERENCE

The Child Protection Policy will be complemented and supported by other school policies and practice.  In particular the schools policies related to personal, social and health education; sex & relationship education; equal opportunities; behaviour; anti-bullying; special needs, looked after pupils, welfare and guidance.

CO-ORDINATION

Co-ordination of policy and practice is the responsibility of the Senior Designated Person.  This will be recorded in the DT file which will include: school policy, remit of D.T. pro-formas, list of contacts, information on level of staff training and an action plan.

 MONITORING AND EVALUATION

The Governing Body is accountable for this child protection policy in accordance with LA guidance and locally agreed inter-agency procedures, and policy is made available on request to parents.

1.      There is a necessity for on-going monitoring of the policy

i)               the knowledge of the system by all staff

ii)             an awareness of key issues by pupils and parents

iii)        the use of procedures

iv)        curriculum provision

v)        the nature and response to incidents

 

2.       An action plan to implement this policy will identify planned activities that are time specific and have clear achievable outcomes.( pending)

 

3.    The senior designated person and other relevant members of the staff will together

provide a brief annual report of measures which will ensure the effective

implementation of the policy.  This report will be made available to the

governing body.

 

This policy will be given to all staff members.

Updated  November 2013

Continued…

Documentation 

 

q  DfES Circular 10/95 Protecting children from abuse: The role of the Education Service

q  DfES Circular  11/95 Misconduct of teachers and workers with children and young persons

q  DfES  Circular 10/98 Section 550A of the Education Act 1996: The Use of Force to Control or Restrain Pupils

q  Child Protection Procedures Handbook -Sefton Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) – 2001

q  Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need -Sefton Area Child Protection Committee (ACPC) – Sefton Council and Sefton Health 2001

q  Designated Teacher Handbook – Sefton LA  1998

q  Personal Safety and Child Protection, Curriculum Planning Guide, Sefton LA 2000

q  The Children Act – 1989

q  Working together to Safeguard Children – Dept. of Health 2000

q Working together to Safeguard Children 2013

q Keeping Children Safe in Education  – April 2014